People will be able to better identify environmentally friendly yet quality products. Ecolabels and their ambassador, Ekolífek, will help them to do this. He is the main character of the information campaign of the Czech Environmental Information Agency (CENIA) and the Ministry of the Environment. The campaign has just started these days and aims to raise consumer awareness of ecolabels and to attract new holders among producers over the course of two years, said, among other things, today’s press conference of Environment Minister Marian Jurečka and CENIA Director Miroslav Havranek.
The ecolabels, whose main guarantor is the Ministry of the Environment and which are administered by CENIA, include the national certificates Eco-friendly product and Eco-friendly service and the EU Ecolabel (EU-wide ecolabel). Its criteria are set directly by the European Commission and the product certificate carries equal weight throughout the EU.
“Our main goal is to make it easy for people to recognise a product that is both high quality and environmentally friendly. These are products that do not harm the environment throughout their entire life cycle. For example, the EU Ecolabel celebrates 30 years of existence this year, but awareness of its existence is very low in the Czech Republic, with only 16% of Czechs having heard of it. Yet it is a label for products whose quality and environmental friendliness is guaranteed directly by the European Commission. That is why we have come up with a promotional campaign to spread awareness of the ecolabel among Czech consumers over the next two years and to motivate other companies with products of appropriate quality to use the ecolabel,” explains Environment Minister Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL).
The campaign aims to increase consumer confidence in the products in question. It is therefore important that they have enough information to help them navigate between products. “Without clear labelling of genuinely environmentally friendly products, it is difficult for consumers to navigate the offer. We also want to dispel people’s doubts about the quality of environmentally friendly products. The main character of our campaign is Ekolífek and it comes at Christmas time to help simplify the choice and expand the number of eco-products and eco-services. In fact, in this case, it is the largest campaign to promote eco-labels in the history of the Czech Republic,” adds Minister Jurečka. Consumers and producers will now encounter the campaign in public and online spaces.
Ekolífek is the umbrella element of the entire campaign. It is a fictional being who has volunteered to help with the whole project. He is a bit of an elf, a bit of an elf and a bit of an ent, he is also a certification guide. Mostly, though, he’s very ECO. So he is perfect for the role of ambassador for the whole project.
We want more eco-products in Czech shops You can already find products on the shelves of shops that present themselves as organic. However, there are relatively few truly organic products in their entire life cycle. So how will the campaign help improve this situation? “First of all, we point out that the organic origin of a product is not at the expense of quality and efficiency, proof of which is also part of the certification process criteria. At the same time, we stress that only products and services that are truly environmentally friendly throughout their entire life cycle, from production to use to recycling, can be awarded the eco-label. Products certified by us do not play at ecology, but are truly eco,” added Miroslav Havránek, Director of the Czech Environmental Information Agency, adding that these messages are intended primarily for the end consumer.
The campaign also informs producers about the benefits of eco-labels. “The basic pillar is the fact that ecolabels awarded by CENIA are protected by the Ministry of the Environment and, in the case of the EU Ecolabel, also by the European Commission. By obtaining them, you immediately become a member of a premium club of the world’s leading manufacturers and service providers who care about the environment. This gives you a competitive advantage because, as already mentioned, customers are increasingly looking for these products. This certification is also more important in the case of public, so-called green procurement, where public institutions will increasingly have to take the environmental friendliness of products into account in tenders,” Miroslav Havránek explained the advantages.
In fact, this is the largest campaign to promote eco-labels in the history of the Czech Republic. The campaign itself takes several forms. The beginning is mainly linked to an outdoor and online campaign to attract increased attention to the topic. At the same time, long-term direct marketing will be launched, targeting producers but also retailers, with the aim of gaining more space for eco-products in their offer. Customers will be targeted, among other things, by a series of contact events in shopping centres.
Find out more about eco-labelling at www.ekoznacka.cz.